01 - Council - Rapson -05-26-16George Rapson

Incumbent Councilman George Rapson has lived in Mesquite since the 1990s and was first elected to the Mesquite City Council in 2011. He worked in the gaming industry for 14 years and is now in the real estate business.

At the public forum, Rapson was asked why so little of the downtown redevelopment funds had been used to improve the looks of the city. “There is a saying, you can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it think,” Rapson replied. He said that many businesses don’t apply for the funds because of the supposed difficult application process. Rapson said he and staff had worked to speed the process to apply for the available monies. “One idea I have contemplated is broadening the scope of what the money can be used for. If you want to expand your business, we can get funds out of the redevelopment fund.”

Rapson was also asked whether council funding should have been reduced for MRBI (Mesquite Regional Business Inc,) last year, “Yes, it should have. At that point we were in a very difficult budget situation and we still are.” Rapson went on to say that during the last year “we have had a string of unbelievable successes with MRBI.” Rapson listed the new businesses coming to Mesquite that were all driven by MRBI. “I have talked with several businesses that said the reason they came to Mesquite was because of our business friendly atmosphere and MRBI,” Rapson added.

When asked about the city’s master plan during the forum and the lack of attention paid to it, Rapson said, “I’m not sure the master plan needs to be updated frequently although it should be revisited.” He said it is a zoning plan that guides some of the battles the council has had on requests to alter it.

“But, the city hasn’t grown significantly in the last five or so years. It’s a good plan. The fact that it hasn’t been changed doesn’t make it a bad plan. It could be argued that because it hasn’t been changed or revisited might indicate it’s a good plan,” Rapson said.

He says the city has gotten very little out of the $3,500 it pays to be part of the Las Vegas Global Economic Alliance. “We should pull the money unless we have more evidence of some value for the money. We should target specific businesses and not rely on those sources who have bigger fish to fry. MRBI formed a substantial relationship with them on the hope they would gain more leads for new businesses. I don’t believe that’s occurred.”

As far as raising recreation center fees, Rapson said “we should have a plan that will examine current rates and make it fair and equitable for the valley whether people use it or not.” He added that users should pay their fair share of the costs for the center. “Non-users are paying for the subsidy the city gives the rec center users. We need incremental increases that get us to a self-sustaining operation. At some point the choices become subsidizing the rec center and operate on a shoestring with fire and police or make the center self-sustaining and devote more funds to public safety.”

He wants to involve the city’s lobbyist in an effort to change the state census from summertime to winter months when the snowbirds are in town. “It’s a legislative issue and even though we’ve made the argument to change it, we haven’t been successful,” Rapson said.

“The city is not responsible for spearheading workforce housing,” he said. Rapson added that the city has land it could sell to help private industry develop the necessary housing for an anticipated job growth of over 500 in the next 18 months.

“I’ve always been a proponent of growth,” Rapson said. “I’ve always been a proponent of business. Businesses will give citizens what they seem to clamor for – more retail, restaurants and recreation opportunities.”

In response to the effect of Mesquite’s 3-G’s, golf, gaming and grandparents, Rapson said “Mesquite’s strengths are ever evolving. Our seven golf courses are a result of growth. Even though gaming has not fully come back from the recession, it’s still a major factor in our economy. Visitors who come to Mesquite are a critical element of our success.”

He added that the new I-15 Exit 118 is “a game changer that will help diversity our economy and is an example of the evolution we’ve gone through.”

When asked about the city funding new soccer or ball fields and other venues, Rapson said it’s important but the city doesn’t have the money to pay for them. “Clearly they attract visitors on a large scale. We could use grants and other agencies to direct more funds to parks and recreation and bring in more fields,” he said. “It speaks to the economic diversity that we need.”

“I don’t like smoking but I’m not going to tell people who’ve invested hundreds of millions of dollars on their casinos how to run their business,” Rapson said.

“If there’s a ballot initiative to support recreational marijuana in Mesquite, I’ll go with the outcome of the vote,” he said to explain his position on the issue.

“I’ve been very honest in dealing with the citizens and staff,” Rapson said during the forum. “I don’t backpedal. I say what I think and I do what I think. I follow through. I come prepared to the meetings. We’ve accomplished a lot in the last five years that I’ve been on council.”

02 - Council - Ballweg -05-26-16Dave Ballweg

Dave Ballweg is a Mesquite businessman who has been an active citizen in local government and moved to Mesquite in 2008. He ran unsuccessfully for a seat on the Overton Power District Board of Trustees in 2014. This is the first time he’s run for Mesquite City Council.

Ballweg was asked if he was flexible in his opinions and how he would make decisions in a fair way. “Whenever I come up with an opinion I do work ahead of time and a lot of people sometimes think my definitive opinions reflect inflexibility. I am not inflexible,” said Ballweg.

Ballweg used as an example his opposition to medical marijuana and noted how he had worked with Councilman George Rapson to insure that before recreational marijuana was made legal in Mesquite, there would first be a citizen referendum. “I am against marijuana but when it comes to a vote of the citizens about recreational marijuana, I will abide by their vote,” said Ballweg.

Ballweg also said he was an advocate for the council having technical sessions a week before council meetings as it was the only opportunity for citizens to see what the council would be discussing before the agenda was published.

Ballweg said “it’s always best to let the private sector handle these things” when he was asked if the city should spend more money on building soccer and ball fields or other venues. “They will do the economic plans. We see an example of that with the Rising Star Sports Ranch. That’s where businesses make the right decisions. The budget will control what we can spend with that kind of development.”

While he believes Mesquite should maintain contact with the Las Vegas Global Economic Alliance, “we’ve been too passive with them. I’ve been disappointed with how they’ve overlooked Mesquite. Mesquite Regional Business Inc. (MRBI) should have a formal seat at the table with them.”

Ballweg believes recreation center fees “need to be increased with the funds primarily designated for maintenance.” He’s concerned that the facility has not had enough capital improvements through the years and it’s getting old and worn out. “I would look at the burden on retired people on fixed incomes but I wouldn’t exclude them from an increase in fees.”

“Asking once is not enough,” Ballweg said about changing the census count for Mesquite from summer to winter when more snowbirds are in town. That affects the amount of tax revenues the city gets from the state. “We need to continue poking the state through all channels to get it changed, including the legislature and the county. It’s one of the top three issues the city is facing because of the impact on our tax revenues.”

He believes the city’s master plan is a guideline to help the council in its zoning decisions. “We have a well-defined master plan. It’s a misconception that the city can manage growth. The city influencing the kind of growth we have is a more difficult task. It needs to be managed but not restricted.”

When it comes to providing workforce housing Ballweg believes the city can team up with investors who want to develop housing and use some city-owned dormant land for it. “My first choice is to leave it to investors making business decisions. The city could lease the property with covenants on it to target affordable housing.”

“We are trying to diversify our economy but tourism is a prime industry including gaming and golf,” Ballweg said about Mesquite’s 3-G’s – golf, gaming and grandparents. “We have to recognize that but not make it our sole goal of economic development. We have to bring in new money to the valley and not recirculate money that’s already here.”

He’s not in favor of targeted fees or taxes he said, when talking about the city’s most pressing issue. “Increasing city revenues is our most important issue. That goes back to the state demographer changing the census timing and adjusting the consolidated tax formulas. We need to find a way for the whole community to support the city’s costs. Everyone has to buy in to our exceptional emergency services.”

Even though he is a non-smoker, Ballweg doesn’t believe that the city should force private businesses like the casinos to participate in a “microeconomic experiment out of making casinos smoke-free.” Ballweg is adamantly against recreational marijuana being legalized in Mesquite.

Ballweg also spoke about his involvement with the water and power districts along with city issues citing examples he thought he helped influence like the habitat conservation plan and increasing ambulance fees. “I can bring knowledge to the process if I’m elected,” Ballweg said


03 - Council - Wursten -05-26-16Brian Wursten

Brian Wursten is the Falcon Ridge Golf Course general manager and a longtime resident of Mesquite. This is the first time he’s run for elected office. He was unable to attend the Mesquite Local News candidate forum due to a death in the family. MLN interviewed him separately.

Wursten confirmed that one of the main reasons he’s running for council was the city clerk appointment process that resulted in controversy. The front-runner for the job was one of his employees who ultimately wasn’t selected. “It absolutely was a large part of my decision to run. I was upset with how that whole thing went down. When I complained to people, they told me to shut up or run for council.”

If elected, Wursten said the first issue he would work on would be “relationships between the council and city staff. It seems the mayor and council don’t involve staff members in a lot of their decisions. When I ask staff members why they didn’t speak up, they say they weren’t asked.”

He added that as a council member “I’m there to find the information to make the decisions. We have great staff members to help us make decisions.”

He hadn’t studied the relationship between the city and Las Vegas Global Economic Alliance but thinks Mesquite Regional Business, Inc. (MRBI) is “doing a great job. We’ve got good people working hard to bring in new businesses and to make the businesses here work better.”

He disagrees with the city reducing its monetary support of MRBI last year. “We need to increase the funding because that helps provide growth in the city,” Wursten said.

Wursten thinks the city and state can make improvements for current businesses. “City staff needs to be more aware of what’s happening in the private economy,” he said. Explaining that many businesses, including the golf industry, still hadn’t recovered from the recession, “there’s little places government can help.”

He cited an example of a recent fire department inspection in his business that required changes. “It’s going to cost us $4,000 to $6,000 to change some things that don’t need to be changed. They aren’t helping businesses. Their job is to find something wrong. Their job should be to help not hurt businesses.”

When asked about the city spending money on new venues like sports fields, he said “you have to be careful not to out-build demand.” He cited the fact that Mesquite currently doesn’t have enough hotel rooms to accommodate the number of people coming in for sports tournaments. He said soccer and ball tournaments prevent golfers from acquiring hotel rooms. “We’re building new venues but we can’t accommodate everyone in rooms so they go to St. George,” he said.

When it comes to raising recreation center fees, Wursten said “there hasn’t been an increase in a while. I’ve never had a problem raising the rates for the rec center. They are generous with what you get.” He is concerned that repairs on the aging facility will become more expensive. “If you continue to cannibalize, it will cost you a lot more down the road,” he said.

He wants to work closely with Mesquite’s state senators and assembly people to change the state census-taking from the summer months to the winter months when the snowbirds would factor into the count. “Our representatives are good guys and I think we can work with them on a change,” he said. “That should be high on their agenda.”

“I want to see Mesquite grow,” Wursten said. He says the best part of living here for 23 years is watching the city grow. “Most of the growth has come around the golf courses. I can only imagine the services we’ll have if we continue to grow. I am for managed growth though,” he said.

“We don’t have housing that can accommodate the number of workers that will come with all the new jobs,” he said, describing a lack of entry-level homes and rental units. He added that while private businesses should provide most of workforce housing that may be needed, “I don’t have a problem with the city spearheading some of that growth. We need to make sure that if we do help, that it really does happen. The city has to be involved if we sell city-owned property for housing.”

While he thinks the golf industry in Mesquite has taken a hit since the recession, Wursten says “every golf course is still going. This is a golf destination and people want to visit because of it. If you want to see the city take a hit, watch one of the golf courses go down. It will cost the city a lot of money (in lost revenues).”

He thinks Mesquite industries expand beyond the 3-G’s – golf, gaming, and grandparents, mostly youth sports like soccer. However, when large soccer tournaments are held in Mesquite, he says, it affects golf courses and gaming because of the lack of hotel rooms.

“There’s only a few ways you can increase the city’s revenues,” Wursten said. “Either the city has to grow or you have to tax people more or tax businesses more. My preference is growth by bringing more business in.”


05 - Council - Delaney -05-26-16Cindi Delaney

Cindi Delaney was appointed to the council two years ago to fill a vacancy when Al Litman was appointed to the mayoral seat after running in 2013 but not getting elected. Delaney, who has lived here for more than 10 years is a local businesswoman and was a founding owner of the MLN.

Delaney was asked if she favored fast or slow growth, “I favor managed growth. We are going to grow; we have 500 new jobs coming to town.” Delaney emphasized that the city can help through the sale of public land and an efficient regulatory process. “My vision for Mesquite is to be Mesquite, not to be anywhere else,” said Delaney. She emphasized the need for a “vital and sustainable economy with jobs people can get.”

She considers Mesquite to be business friendly after “we’ve come a long way in the last 10 years.” She said that the planning department and business license function are understaffed. “We have to find new ways to increase city revenue,” she added, in order to improve the staffing shortages.

Delaney also said that the new I-15 Exit 118 is going to be a “game changer for the economy of Mesquite. There is going to be a new variety of jobs for our citizens.”

During the forum she was asked about her support of medical marijuana and a seven percent tax that was reduced to three percent at a later council meeting. Delaney replied that “I always supported a three percent tax because I believed that seven percent of nothing was less than three percent of something.”

Delaney noted that the city had received over $30,000 in revenue from medical marijuana company Deep Roots Medical in the first quarter, “and if that stays we will gain over $120,000 this year in revenue.” She also said they had 56 employees who are getting pay checks.

As a board director at the Southern Nevada Health District representing the city, she said she is there to remind them that Mesquite exists. She said that almost nothing the health district does affects Mesquite specifically.

“We constantly have to remain in front of everyone,” Delaney said about Mesquite staying involved with the Las Vegas Global Economic Alliance. “It’s an ongoing battle. We are the gateway to Nevada.”

She added that Mesquite Regional Business Inc. (MRBI) has “proven its worth. We need ways to fund it though. Just because it’s in the budget doesn’t mean it’s a done deal.”

Delaney thinks raising recreation center fees is “not a bad idea. Our seniors or others on limited budgets can fill out a form to qualify for assistance. Our rates are ridiculously low for the facility we provide. People constantly complain about the facility but they would lose their minds if we raised rates.” She added that all departments should practice cost recovery measures that provide enough funds for their operations.

She disagrees that the city should spend more money to expand soccer and ball fields or other venues. “Sports promoters should do that. We can help them but not fund the fields,” Delaney said. She added that any new soccer fields should come from grants and other agencies.

“People bringing the jobs should work with private industry to spearhead workforce housing,” Delaney said. “We can help it along but it’s not our job to build houses,” she said.

“There’s a light at the end of the tunnel; we just don’t know how long the tunnel is,” Delaney said about the most pressing issue for the city – revenues. “We are encouraging growth and new businesses. I am in favor of a new sales excise tax on liquor sales.”

“Everyone is in favor of clean air when you ask about it from a certain perspective,” Delaney said in her closing comments during the forum. “However, I’m about personal choices and responsibilities. When they spend millions of dollars to build a casino, we can’t tell them how to run their business. It’s not my job to do that.”

Delaney said she supported medical marijuana and that recreational marijuana was coming to Nevada and Mesquite needs to get in front to regulate it and reap the benefit of the taxes it would generate.


04 - Council - West -05-26-16David West

 Dave West, a manager at Reliance Communications, has lived in Mesquite about 13 years. This is his first run for elected office.

“I think there’s a disconnect between the youth and families in Mesquite from our elected representatives,” West said when asked how he would convey confidence that he is familiar enough with issues to make decisions about them. “As a younger father, I’m at events where much of the population is. I’m the only candidate with kids in the high school, middle school, and elementary school.”

“The Chamber of Commerce has ebbed and flowed,” West said about working with it, the city, and Mesquite Regional Business, Inc (MRBI). “Right now it’s on an upswing.” He added that all the people in the three organizations are committed to making Mesquite a better place and making it easier to bring in new businesses.

He was asked what his priorities would be for the city’s budget. “First of all, I can’t predict what the economy is going to do, but I do want to see our city provide better incentives for businesses wanting to move here and work with Mesquite Regional Business (MRBI),” said West. He added that he previously sat on a city economic development commission and “I saw how much more effective MRBI was than the previous efforts.”

West wants to develop more independent funding for MRBI but thinks the “city should keep some skin in the game also” with continued monies. “Current funding levels from the city are good but eventually MRBI should be a completely independent entity,” he said.

West also said that he wanted youth sports to be improved. “Our town doesn’t look busy when there is a bunch of golfers in town, but you can’t find a seat in a restaurant when there is a youth tournament in town.”

West also said that budget cuts were going to be necessary, but he wanted to support police and fire and with an improved business climate any potential employee cuts would be limited.

He believes the city should be involved with the Las Vegas Global Economic Alliance and the Governor’s Office of Economic Development because “we don’t have a lot of expertise and we should use theirs. We should take advantage of them.”

Saying he hadn’t put much thought into it he did agree that the recreation center “needs more revenue from somewhere whether that’s a per person increase or something else. The recreation center is an incredible bargain. People can’t keep complaining that it’s falling apart yet be unwilling to fund it. No candidate wants to raise taxes but the city has to look at that.”

On the subject of changing the census from summer to winter so snowbirds are counted in Mesquite’s population, he said “it’s a losing battle. We need to reframe what we’re looking for. We need more state funding and more incentives for people to live here full-time.”

West offered the idea of creating a ‘border zone’ that would have cities like Mesquite which are close to other state borders pay reduced state taxes. “People can go across state lines and get better deals on gas. Our community expands across state borders. We need incentives for people to live here.”

He wants the city to actively pursue grants to build world-class sports venues in Mesquite but not use general fund monies to do that. “I would like concentrated locations for sports fields,” West said citing the Rising Star Sports Ranch as an example of private investments doing a better job.

West is in favor of managed growth but wants to avoid pitfalls like St. George has experienced with its traffic flow problems. “We need growth in the right locations,” he said.

He agrees with other candidates that workforce housing needs to be developed by private industry and not the city.

He says the most pressing issue in the city is a “pull back in services. Businesses and social services are cutting budgets and services. That affects our most vulnerable citizens and that concerns me. I don’t know what the solution is other than the city allowing them to use city facilities at a reduced rate. In a misguided effort to balance the budget, they pulled the funding for those kinds of groups who later left town.”

When it came to his opinion about Mesquite’s 3-Gs, golf, gaming, and grandparents, he wants more investments in other sports rather than golf. “The soccer impact is visible,” West said. “We need to start diversifying.”

“I want to see my kids stay here,” West said during his final comments at the forum. “That means we have to help businesses that will employ people who don’t graduate from college. More businesses mean more services for everyone. I want to serve the people and provide objective and impartial decision-making.”

West did not vote in favor of requiring smoke-free casinos or allowing recreational marijuana in Mesquite.


06 - Council - Benham -05-26-16Mike Benham

Mike Benham is a former firefighter in England and on the east coast. He is a volunteer with the Mesquite Fire Department and is the head of the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT). This is the first time he’s run for public office.

Because of his devotion to the fire department, he was asked if he would be more than a one-issue councilperson should he be elected. Benham said “I was a fire commissioner, and I have been to council meetings for five years. I have stressed that the fire and police departments are so understaffed that one of these days someone is going to die.”

He said that the city had to look at a way to bring the staff up. “Your lives matter to me. One of the reasons I’m running for city council is I want to find a way to get some money, more money for the fire department.”

Benham also said he volunteers at the high school and he wants to get local church leaders together in the community to help kids at the high school and give them structure.

When asked about creating workforce development programs in Mesquite, Benham said he would like to see a trade school in Mesquite for jobs like plumbers, carpenters or mechanics. If he’s elected he would form a committee to develop those kinds of programs.

Benham reiterated during the forum that he wanted to spend more on fire and police forces even though he was asked about being more objective towards other city services. “We have to be responsible when spending money and make sure the fire and police have what they need,” he said.

Even though approximately 50 percent of Mesquite’s city budget is devoted to public safety, Benham said “in a lot of places it’s higher.”

He thinks Mesquite needs more representation in organizations like the Las Vegas Global Economic Alliance. He believes Mesquite Regional Business (MRBI) is doing a good job bringing new businesses into the area “even though I haven’t talked to George Gault (MRBI CEO).” He later said city funding for MRBI should be cut 5 percent “just like all the other departments had to in the budget.”

Benham also thinks private industry should build new venues like soccer and ball fields because the city doesn’t have available funding. “We should make a profit on soccer fields we have now. We can’t run at a loss on our fields.”

“Yes, we have to raise recreation center fees. It’s cheap now,” Benham said. “If people want to use it they should pay for it.”

Benham also said companies who are coming into Mesquite should pay for workforce housing and that “it’s not the city’s responsibility.”

“Golf is not declining in my point of view,” Benham said. “Gaming seems to be doing well and grandparents seem to be doing well,” he said about the viability of Mesquite’s 3-Gs, golf, gaming, and grandparents. “They are still viable industries for Mesquite.”

He thinks the city’s most pressing issue is the budget. “We can only tax people so much. I would say to department heads that we need to get our money’s worth and then hope the managers do a good job.”

Benham would form a committee to meet with the state demographer in an attempt to change the time frame in which Mesquite’s census is taken. “Snowbirds should be included in our population,” he said about the census being taken in the summer when most of them are gone. “Visitors put a big strain on the city.”

Benham said the issue of requiring casinos to ban smoking is a huge issue. “But we know the Lee Family (who operates the Eureka Casino) are smart people. They built the Rising Star Sports Ranch as a smoke-free facility.” He did not vote in favor of legalizing recreational marijuana in Mesquite.

During his wrap-up at the forum Benham returned to his fervor for fire and rescue services praising the operations and saying he was selected as the fire department’s volunteer of the year. “I will keep doing that even if I’m not elected,” Benham said.


07 - Council - Larsen -05-26-16C.J. Larsen

 C.J. Larsen has lived in Mesquite for more than 20 years and recently retired from the Mesquite Police Department Dispatch center. This is the first time she’s run for elected office.

“The most pressing issue is our budget. We need the revenue and we need to see where we can cut,” said Larsen at the forum about the city’s most pressing issue. She noted that the situation isn’t “going to change overnight and we need to work on that.”

However, she didn’t offer any ideas about how revenues could be increased or expenditures reduced.

Larsen was asked about how the overall economy of Mesquite could be improved. “We need to concentrate on the businesses that we have here currently and bring in new businesses.” She added that Mesquite should continue to be engaged with the Las Vegas Global Economic Alliance to “keep our city growing and take care of ourselves. Hopefully we can get more businesses and keep more of them.”

She favors putting more city resources into new sports venues like soccer and ball fields. “If we had more fields we could get more money coming into the community. Then we wouldn’t be an overflow area to St. George. We could turn that around and bring them here and let St. George be the overflow.”

Larsen is not in favor of raising Recreation Center fees. Instead, she wants a special summer swimming pass for the outdoor pool. “If you have a special swimming pass, people could afford that. They can’t afford the full pass. Instead of raising all the rec center fees, offer an additional option,” she said.

“We first have to figure out the dynamics that would let us get the census changed to the first quarter of the calendar year,” Larsen said about the state demographer taking Mesquite’s census in the summer when the population is at its lowest. That affects the amount of state tax revenue the city receives per capita. She didn’t offer any specifics beyond that.

“We know we have water but we can manage growth so we continue to keep our water,” Larsen said about her preference for managed, slow or no growth for the city.

“The city cannot be part of creating workforce housing,” she said. “That needs to be the responsibility of the housing industry. The city should not be real estate agents or landlords.”

She was asked about the idea that Mesquite’s economy is driven by three G’s – golf, gaming, and grandparents, and how the city’s strengths can be better utilized to prepare for the future.

“We need to concentrate on the businesses we currently have. But we also need to bring in new businesses,” she said.

Larsen also said “We need to do things for the younger generation. We need gaming and golf but we also need something for the younger people to do.” She didn’t offer any specific ideas for how she would work towards that goal.

Larsen also said her years with the public safety department in Mesquite has given her a good understanding of the community and a belief that public safety departments need to be protected.

Larsen agrees with the idea of requiring smoke-free casinos although she did not elaborate on how she would do that. She did not vote in favor of recreational marijuana in Mesquite.


08 – Council – Choice-05-26-16Choices for Mesquite City Council

The Mesquite Local News hosted a public forum on May 9 at the Eureka Casino Resort with two candidates for Nevada State Assembly District 19 and six of seven candidates for Mesquite City Council. Brian Wursten was unable to attend the forum due to a family emergency.

The MLN later held one-on-one interviews with all candidates to round out the questions they may not have had a chance to answer at the forum. The individual candidate articles published in this guide are a compilation of answers from both the forum and interview formats.

Citizens should appreciate all the candidates who take the time to run for public office. It’s not an easy job to be elected.

The following is a brief synopsis of each council candidate listed in order of preference for votes based on opinions of the MLN staff.

Number one – George Rapson: he has been the most vocal member of the current council publicly voicing his thoughts, opinions, agreements and disagreements on issues. You may not like what he says but at least you know where he stands. That’s what we want in elected officials. He has an excellent knowledge of business including Mesquite’s three major industries – golf, gaming and grandparents.

Number two – Dave Ballweg: he is the most involved private citizen in local government bodies, not just city council but also power, water and chamber boards besides running his own successful business. He always does his homework before expressing his opinions and fully understands issues, sometimes more than the people holding elected office.

Number three – Brian Wursten: he knows business and how to work with tight budgets which will serve him well helping to run city government. He has long been involved in city issues, usually from a back seat. He knows how to work well with people and the intricacies involved in running government. There is a concern about him focusing too much on the golf industry.

Number four – Cindi Delaney: she has done a decent job since her appointment to the city council but seems to not have a full understanding of issues many times. She has reversed her vote on a couple issues which points to that concern.

Number five – Dave West: his youth and desire to focus on the younger generations are appreciated. However, there is concern about how much time he would have to devote to council requirements since he has a large, young family and works full-time.

Number six – Mike Benham: several questions were constructed for him to prove or disprove his single focus on the fire department. Unfortunately, he proved he is a one-issue candidate with little understanding of the other issues facing the city.

Number seven – CJ Larsen: she displayed very little if any knowledge of most of the issues facing the city even though she was employed there for 20 years.